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Record harvest puts fizz in Bordeaux

Published:  22 December, 2016

Cremant de Bordeaux sparkling wine is one of the clear winners of record new highs in overall Bordeaux wine production

Cremant de Bordeaux fizz is one of the clear winners of record new highs in overall Bordeaux wine production expected for 2017, Bordeaux's wine board, the CIVB, has announced.

"Cremant de Bordeaux production from the 2016 harvest will triple in 2017 and is expected to exceed 70.000 hl for the first time," a spokesman said.

The CIVB said the major increase in Cremant de Bordeaux production was one of the most notable consequences of the overall 9% rise in Bordeaux wine production from the 2016 harvest expected in 2017, which is set to hit a new record high next year reaching some 700 million bottles about, 5.7m hl; the best production levels since 2009.

Bordeaux and Alsace are the only two key wine regions of France that have not been hit by a fall in production this year triggered by frost, couloure and drought and both regions anticipate a rise in demand for their wines as a result of a high quality harvest and lower production levels elsewhere in France. The CIVB said the 2016 harvest had benefited from optimal weather during the growing season and rainfall in September.

Among the newcomers to Cremant de Bordeaux, is the Bordeaux-based Castel Group, one the largest producers of wines and beers in the world. It is releasing its first Bordeaux fizz in 2017 under its Malesan label. Castel Group now plans to produce a million bottles of Cremant de Bordeaux by 2019. Meanwhile existing Cremant de Bordeaux producers Brouette and Celene are increasing production.

Overall wine production from the 2016 harvest in Bordeaux in 2017, is to exceed the 5.3 million annual average production levels of the last ten years, the CIVB said.

"The feedback from both the left and right banks is that production has increased across Bordeaux and although it is difficult to predict price changes, I think that general prices for Bordeaux - not including Grand Crus Classed wines whose prices are hard to comment on - will increase in 2017 between 2% and 5% as result of an increase in demand wines from Bordeaux due to the quality of the 2016 vintage, but also due to the drop in production elsewhere in France and internationally," said Francis Boutemy, owner of Chateau Haut-La Grange, located on Bordeaux's left bank in the prestigious Pessac-Leognan appellation.

Boutemy said Chateau Haut-La Grange's production would increase more than 10% in 2017 from 45,000 bottles produced in 2016 from the 2015 vintage to 50,000 bottles produced in 2017 from this year's vintage. The CIVB declined to comment on what impact increased production would have on Bordeaux wine prices.

"We are very satisfied with the great harvest of 2016, in terms of quality but also in terms of generous yields which will bring total production to about 5.7million hl, which is something we have not seen since 2009,"said CIVB's chairman Alain Sichel on December 19, speaking after the CIVB's AGM.

The CIVB said that the production figures were based on estimates given by producers, adding that official production declarations, which have to be submitted to the CIVB by the end of the year, would be announced in February 2017. Bordeaux's wine board said that the increase in wine production was across the board.

"We do not have estimates for production level increases for individual appellations, in some cases the level of production will depend on which appellation producers they opt for; for example, producers in St Emilion can choose whether they want to producer under St Emilion or Bordeaux Superior," the CIVB spokesman said.